8, 14, 21
Module 4: Learning Objectives
● Understand and apply the theories of Fabric of Oppression, representations and stereotyping.
● Examine how the theories of Fabric of Oppression, representations and stereotyping influence various
● Analyze the differences between representations and stereotyping.
● Analyze how different ethnic and racial groups are portrayed in the media through these theories.
1. Write down a short definition for the term "stereotype?"
A stereotype can be defined as the act of reducing "people to a few, simple, essential characteristics, which are
represented as fixed by nature".
2. How would you define the concept of "race?"
A local geographic or global human population distinguished as a more or less distinct group by genetically
transmitted physical characteristics or a group of people united or classified together on the basis of common
history, nationality, or geographic distribution. (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Race)
Then, we take a deeper look at how the Fabric of Oppression and stereotyping show up in media portrayals of
Hispanics, Arabs and Asian Americans.
The theory and conceptual bases we will be examining in this module are the Fabric of Oppression (power
structures) and Representations and Stereotyping
The Fabric of Oppression
The Fabric of Oppression is a theory concerned with the structural arrangement of privileges,
resources and power. It centers on the fact that by belonging to certain groups (institutions, systems
and policies) people receive unearned benefits and privileges simply because they are the way they
are (e.g. being born male). This creates unequal access to social power, resources and privileges. In the
model shown, persons above the category line generally have greater power in our society than
persons below the line. There are many studies that show men tend to get hired over women, men
still get paid more (in general) than women, etc. These data are generally looked at as a class or group
rather than on a case-by-case basis.
Before we proceed it is important to define power. In social sciencand politic, power is the ability to
influenceor control the behavior of people.
In module one, we looked at social class. The owning class (people who own their homes, own cars,
have bank accounts and access to credit) would have more power and opportunities than people who
do not. Imagine how much more difficult life might be if you don't have a credit card or debit card or 8, 14, 21
an address to list. As a college student, you may not have access to these things but most likely will in
the near future.
Sometimes, the different ways people are treated are subtle and sometimes pronounced. There is a
scene in the movie “Pretty Woman” when the lead character played by Julia Roberts goes into a dress
shop and is ignored because she looks like a hooker with few resources. Later she goes back with her
billionaire friend who flashes his credit card and gets treated like royalty. She gets her “revenge” by
going back to visit the people who refused her service. See the short YouTube clip here:
This is an obvious representation of different treatment and “power” based on income/social status.
Let me emphasize these are groups and not individual cases. Themore “traits” you have in the top tier
means the more social power you are likely to have. As this is about social power, as society changes,
the influence of the power traits can change as well. For example, sexual orientation power is
changing as LGBT people gain more acceptance and legal status in society. 8, 14, 21
Social Groups:gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, ability, sexual orientation, religion, and
Other terms: bigotry, discrimination, prejudice
Representations and Stereotyping
Representations generate meaning (through language) and are shaped by the historical and cultural
context in which they are produced. They are intertwined with the relations of power. According to
this viewpoint, through representation, oppressors at various levels of social life can exert their power
over the oppressed.
A stereotype can be defined as beliefs about characteristics or attributes of a social group. Stereotypes
act as a heuristic device or a shortcut to reduce the amount of information that bombards people.
Regardless of the fact that stereotypes can be viewed as a normal part of cognition, one still has to
question why certain stereotypes exist and others do not.
Stereotyping can be viewed as reducing "people to a few, simple, essential characteristics, which are
represented as fixed by nature." Cultural studies scholars recognize that categorizing people is a
necessity in order to make sense of things. Placing people in such categories as nurse, teacher, father,
mother, etc., is needed. They assert that the problem is that stereotyping goes far beyond categorizing
or typing by reducing individuals to a few simple characteristics and presenting them as
unchangeable because they are determined by nature. The end result is that stereotyping
symbolically erects fences or boundaries around groups of individuals, thus enabling exclusion to
come about. Those who fall outside of the boundary of what is considered normal or mainstream are
considered to be the "others." 8, 14, 21
Transcript from the Latinos in the Media Prezi
Hello boys and girls. It's me, the Frito Bandito. You know what I heard about you? I heard you
want to be a Frito Bandito like me. You do? Then you must sing the Bandito song. Let's sing
together. You just follow the bouncing Fritos corn chips bag.
Aye, aye aye.
I am the Frito Bandito, Yippee.
I like Fritos corn chips, I love them, I do.
I want Fritos corn chips, I'll get them from you!
Aye, Aye, Aye, oh I am the Frito Bandito.
Give me Fritos corn chips and I'll be your friend. The Frito Bandito, you must not offend.
Now boys and girls, you are Frito Banditos too. You sing the Frito Bandito song and
you'll now go for Crunchy Fritos corn chips. That's nice.
Munch, munch, munch a bunch of Fritos corn chips.
Female: Aye, aye, aye,another layover? After traveling all day, you expect me to feel good?
Seriously? I mean sure, I perform miracles oh, like the whole giving birth thing, ya. That is all
me but you know, even I need a little help from time to time like Summer's Eve cleansing cloths.
They're individually wrapped so you can just stash them in your purse and we are good to go.
Oh, and next time you shower, show me a little love with Summer's Eve cleansing wash. That's
all I ask. Well that, and you trash that tacky leopard thong. [Spanish]
Summer's Eve cleansing wash and cloths. Hail to the V.
Female: I know that I have an accent but people understand me just fine. 8, 14, 21
Male: I thought you said hair rings.
Female: I didn't say hair rings. I said herrings.
Female: Oh what about Minabell's daughter, Cinerea? Male: I honestly didn't get any of that.
Female: I called your secretary and told her to order you a box of baby cheeses. It's like
Christian silence reading room.
Female: We're going to the drop out. Child: She means drop off.
Female: How do you say in English, ta-ka-ka-ka? Male: Helicopter.
Female: You just throw them an [inaudible] steak? Female: And you use their bunnies.
Male: But that doesn't make sense.
Female: It's sended.
Female: He even boxed with an alligator. Male: Wrestled.
Female: I know what she thinks. A coal dealer.
Female: But I'm nice and I put on the shoes and jacket.
Female: He's either winning his back, not they spit in his face.
Female: You know I am so confused right now.
Female: The last thing Manny needs on his first day of school is you under melting his
Child: She means gargoyle.
Female: We can be even like a [inaudible] Female: You heard how she said that, right? Female:
Female: Jess. 8, 14, 21
Female: That's what I said.
Female: That's gorgeous in Spanish.
Female: What are you talking about?
Female: What's the word?
Female: Curse my tongue.
Female: Enough! You try speaking in another language. Everybody, out of my house.
Male: That was cool. When you cut me off at that pole?
Male: My bitch. Weren't you supposed to wait for me at the flagpole? I'm not sure I could have
made that any clearer.
Male: Okay. I get it. Very funny. I guess we're even now, right?
Male: You get what, boy? You get that you're a dead man walking? Is that what you get?
Female: Leave him alone.
Male: Sisters! The only time I care what a woman has to say is when she's riding my big old hog,
even then, it's not so much words, it's just a bunch of oohs and ahs, you know?
Female: So it's big, huh?
Female: Well, let's see it. I mean if it's as big as you say, I'll be your girlfriend. We could go to
prom together. What? What seems to be the problem? I'm on a schedule here, Vacto.
Male: Don't let Blondie talk to you like that.
Female: It sounds like your buddy here wants to see it too. 8, 14, 21
Male: Hell, I'll show you mine.
Male: Coombs. What on God's green earth is going on here? All right, gentlemen, move along.
Veronica, why does trouble follow you around?
Female: Baby, refrain from breaking my heart, I'm so in love with ... Male: Have you seen Mr.
[inaudible] blood work?
Female: No, it hasn't come back yet.
Male: Okay. Have you seen Turk?
Female: Not since this morning.
Male: Well, I'm sure you'll end up seeing him before I do so ...
Female: Bambi. Are you giving me attitude?
Male: What if I am?
Female: Sweetie, you have to be a minority sidekick in a bad movie to pull that off. You know
what I'm talking about, right?
Female: Oh, jive, please. You speak the truth.
Female: Explain it to this man, please. First, you do the hand, then you do the finger, then you
talk through the nose. And then you give a lot of attitude. That's how it works. But if you're not
from there, you don't understand so I'm not going to even ask you.
Male: Okay. I'm going to leave now so ...
Female: No, no you didn't. Where you going? Where you going?
Slide 30: 8, 14, 21
Female: And a new illegal immigration law that's said to be the toughest in the nation is on the
books in Alabama. It takes effect September 1st. Among other things, it requires the state to
check the citizenship of every child who enrolls in school. While supporters defend the measure,
critics say it is racist and mean spirited. CNN's Rafael Romo is in Alabaster, near Birmingham,
and Rafael, what kind of reaction are you hearing there? This impacts, not only immigrants but
also, anybody who might come in contact to them effectively.
Male: That's right, Devon. We're more than three months before the law actually goes into effect
on September 1st and we are already noticing that many people, especially in the Hispanic
community, are very afraid. There's a lot of misinformation and people just talking about what's
going to happen to their children, what's going to happen if they're stopped and they have
somebody in their car who's undocumented. Take a look at the Latino newspaper here in
Alabaster, Alabama. Front page news, it says the governor of Alabama signed law against
undocumented immigrants and, as you can see, is big news here. And here with me is the owner
of this grocery store. It's one of the most popular stores here in Alabaster. Rey Brito is, not only
an immigrant, but also a businessman who is now going to have to be required to verify the legal
status of anybody he hires. So Rey, thank you very much for being with us. Let me first ask you
how you feel about this requirement, that you're going to have to verify the legal status of
everybody you hire here at your store.
Male: Well, I feel very devastated by these because I, you know, a lot of people, Spanish people
isn't ... they're not legally here and that's our workforce right now.
Male: Have you noticed that people are already getting worried about this, people who maybe
are not coming back to the store, people who are already hiding? 8, 14, 21
Male: Ya, it's people ... it's people out there, they're really afraid. They're planning to go some
other state that is not same as this state, Alabama, with the same law. They're planning to leave.
Male: And how do you personally feel about this law?
Male: Well, I personally feel that it's going to hurt everybody. It's going to hurt me as a
businessman and, you know, it's going to hurt the families and the kids cannot go to school. It's
going to hurt everybody.
Male: Rey, thank you very much. And Dev, just so you know, the governor of Alabama, Robert
Bentley, says that this law is necessary for security reasons and also to create more opportunities
for people who are legally here, immigrants or otherwise. I was taking a look at some of the
numbers. The state of Alabama has a population of 4.8 million people. Of those, it's estimated
that about 120,000 are undocumented here; that's about 2 1/2% of the population but, again, they
say it's very important. That's the reason why he signed it. Dev, back to you.
Male: My name is Jose Antonio Vargas. I was born in the Philippines. I moved to the United
States when I was 12. My mother wanted to give me a better life so she sent me to live with my
grandparents in Silicon Valley.
I loved America the moment I got here, embraced the language, the culture, the people. English
was my second language and I learned to speak American by watching Frasier, Home
Improvement, The Golden Girls. I won the spelling bee in 8th grade by spelling indefatigable. In
high school, I fell in love with journalism. I started working for my local newspaper, the
Mountain View Voice. Then I got hired at the Washington Post. I covered the 2008 presidential
campaign, from traveling on Hillary Clinton's plane to pheasant hunting with Huckabee. I've 8, 14, 21
interviewed Al Gore for Rolling Stone and profiled Mark Zuckerberg for The New Yorker. I
even won a Pulitzer Prize for covering the Virginia Tech massacre.
At age 16, I rode my bike to the DMV to get my driver's permit. I brought my green card with
me. The woman at the DMV flipped it around. She leaned over and she whispered, this is fake,
don't come back here again. I went home and confronted my grandfather. That was the first time
I realize that I'm an undocumented immigrant, what some people call an illegal. The first person
I told was Mrs. Denny, my choir teacher. After she told me that she was planning a choir trip to
Japan, I told her I couldn't afford it but she said we'd find a way. We'd figure it out. Then I
decided to tell her the truth. It's not really about the money, I said, I don't have the right passport.
I'm not supposed to be here. Mrs. Denny got it. The next day she told me the choir was going to
Female: It just mattered to me that Jose was hard working, he was enthusiastic, he was always
coming to class and it's just ... it's our job to educate them, to make them better citizens of the
world. It doesn't matter what country they're from or, you know, what their background or their
legal papers are.
Male: Mrs. Denny was the very first member of my personal underground railroad, Americans
who decided to help undocumented immigrants like me. Other members of my underground
railroad include Rich Fisher, my high school superintendent, and Pat Hiland, my high school
principal. For more than a decade now, Pat and Rich have been with me every step of the way,
guiding me and supporting me as I've tried to define what it means to be an American.
I define American as someone who works really hard, someone who's proud to be in this
country and wants to contribute to it. I'm independent. I pay taxes. I'm self sufficient. I'm an 8, 14, 21
American. I just don't have the right papers. I take full responsibility for my actions and I'm sorry
for the laws that I broke.
What would you do if you were a choir teacher and found out that a student in your glee club
can't travel for competition? What would you do if you were a high school principal and found
out that one of your students can't apply for financial aid? What would you do if your child's best
friend didn't have papers? As a journalist, I've decided to know what I know best, ask questions.
So let's talk. Would would you do?
[End of video]
Latinos in the Media Prezi Notes
I. Hispanic: an ethnicity that encompasses different races from areas under Spanish Rule
(Central America, South America and Mexico).
II. Latino/a: Term created by the U.S. government to signify people living in the UNited
States who are of Latin American origin or descent
III. While these countries are lumped together, each country has their own unique culture and
A. Different Dialects
1. Torta can mean cake or sandwich depending on where you are 8, 14, 21
2. Paraguay, Bolivia and Peru are seen as having strong indigenous cultures,
and Argentina and Chile as being more European based on their history
IV. One of the most popular image of Latinos is the Latino with a mustache and big
A. Example: Frito Commercial with Mexican man and sombrero
B. While featuring people of color in a leading role, Dora the Explorer continues the
myth that all Latinos come from the jungle.
A. Summer’s Eve’s image of Latinas: Speak broken Spanish and wear tribal print
A. Can't speak English and Angry
1. Example: Modern Family - Gloria
B. Gangster and Criminal
1. Example: Veronica Mars
C. Loud Mouth and Sassy
1. Example: Scrubs
D. “Illegal vs. Undocumented
1. Today, more than 6-in-10 (61%) Latinos say that discrimination against
Hispanics is a “major problem”.
2. The most important factor leading to discrimination?
a) 36% say immigration status
b) New Immigration Law: Requires to check citizenship of every
child enrolled in school, considered toughest law in the U.S. 8, 14, 21
(1) The governor signed a law against undocumented
c) This store owner is going to have to verify all his employees, many
people were extremely worried about this, man named Rey Brito,
says it is going to hurt him as a businessman
VII. The Associated Press reported:
A. Alabama’s strict new immigration law may be backfiring. Intended to force illegal
workers out of jobs, it is also driving away many construction workers, roofers
and field hands in the country legally who do backbreaking jobs that Americans
generally won’t. The vacancies have created a void that will surely deal a blow to
the state’s economy and could slow the rebuilding of Tuscaloosa and other
tornado-damaged cities. Reports indicate that tomatoes are rotting in the fields
because there are no workers and some farmers may lose their farms.
VIII. The face of the undocumented worker is Latino, but that is not always the case.
A. American: of or pertaining to the United States of America or its inhabitants, a
citizen of the United States of America
B. Indefatigable: persisting tirelessly
C. Define American
A. Univision is the largest Spanish-language media outlet owning:
1. 50 television stations
2. 70 radio stations
B. Without me, playgrounds would be half empty 8, 14, 21
C. 1 out of every 6 people in the U.S.
D. 1 out of 4 babies born each year
E. I am 50 million strong and growing
F. 1 million people a year
G. 95% of teen population growth through 2020
X. Over 40 percent of Hispanics in America get their news in both English and Spanish.
Even Hispanics who are bilingual turn to Spanish-language newspapers for news about
their respective communities and countries
XI. 91% of U.S. Hispanics speak Spanish at home and 67% are more comfortable with
Spanish language publications
Middle Eastern Images in the Media
I. Define each.. Middle east / near arab muslim / islamic
A. Specially .. what are the geographic boundaries of the Middle East
B. Depends on your definition
C. G8 Expanded (2004) Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan,
Eritrea, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan
D. Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan
II. The history of the Middle East dates back to ancient times. Throughout its history the
Middle East has been a major center of world affairs. The Middle East is also the
historical origin of three of the world’s major monotheistic religions - Judaism,
Christianity and Islam.
III. Many have criticized the term Middle East for what they see as Eurocentrism, because it
was originally named by Europeans and reflect the geographical position of the region 8, 14, 21
from a European / American perspective (if you were naming the region from India… it
would be called the Middle West)
IV. The United States government first officially used “Middle East” in the 1957 as a part of
the Eisenhower Doctrine, which pertained to the Suez Crisis. Secretary of State John
Foster Dulles defined the Middle East as “the area lying between and including Libya on
the West and Pakistan on the east, Syria and Iraq on the North and the Arabian peninsula
to the South, plus the Sudan and Ethiopia.” In 1958, the State Department explained that
the terms “Near East” an